South African R&E net TENET deploys XKL optical transponders and amplified mux/demuxes for data center interconnect

Optical transport systems provider XKL LLC says it has supplied its DarkStar transponder and amplified mux/demux systems to TENET. The research and education network operator, based in South Africa, will use the optical network systems to enable protected data center interconnect between two of their data center locations in London. The link is part of a larger fiber network infrastructure that connects London to Cape Town via subsea network connectivity via the West African Cable System (WACS).

Optical transport systems provider XKL LLC says it has supplied its DarkStar transponder and amplified mux/demux systems to TENET. The research and education network operator, based in South Africa, will use the optical network systems to enable protected data center interconnect between two of their data center locations in London. The link is part of a larger fiber network infrastructure that connects London to Cape Town via subsea network connectivity via the West African Cable System (WACS).

TENET operates peering and transit links across Europe and Africa, as well as "UbuntuNet" gateways under contract to the UbuntuNet Alliance. The operator provides direct connectivity to the pan-European GÉANT research and education network. The prospect of growing bandwidth demands from its various operations led TENET to upgrade its data center interconnect infrastructure in London.

"TENET was looking for a comprehensive data center interconnect solution that facilitates success-based expansion," comments Dr. Chad Lamb, chief systems architect for XKL. "Linking strategic data center locations is an increasing trend and XKL has a portfolio of products to support this use case. It's hard to predict the growth level of traffic that will be needed between sites. The XKL solution provides future expansion capability without the costs typically seen with optical transport solutions."

XKL provided DarkStar transponder systems capable of supporting as much as 36x10G in a 1RU platform. The inclusion of an amplified mux/demux with optical switch protection enables TENET to scale its transport capacity easily as demand increases as well as provide optical path protection between locations in the event of a fiber break.

"We are impressed with the operational simplicity of the DarkStar equipment," says Len Lotz, executive officer – technology and operations for TENET. "After experimenting with XKL's online demonstration systems, provisioning and bringing up service was quite easy. This was the first of several projects and we've been impressed with XKL's products and engagement."

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